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106 Sussex school pupils are excluded from class for racism
Hundreds of children have been excluded from class for racially abusing fellow pupils and staff, The Argus can reveal.
Between September 2011 and July 2012, 106 pupils – an average of nearly three per school week – were excluded from schools in Sussex because of racial abuse.
Between September 2011 and July 2012, Brighton and Hove excluded 17 pupils for racist behaviour and East Sussex excluded 38 pupils.
West Sussex excluded 51 pupils up to June half-term in 2012.
The majority of pupils who were banned from class received fixed-term exclusions – not permanently taken out of school – and were of secondary school age.
The councils said the figure was fewer than in years before, but only Brighton and Hove – which excluded 37 children in 2008 – provided figures to back this up.
Brighton and Hove City Council deputy leader Phelim MacCafferty said: “We are committed to reducing hate crime, but recognise that many incidents are not reported.
“Only by increasing reporting from at risk and vulnerable groups can we support victims and communities effectively.
"We ask residents to report hate incidents so we can intervene to support victims, bring offenders to justice and have a clearer idea of crime trends.
“Our casework team provides a telephone reporting facility and local residents can bring matters to our attention through the Local Action Teams and the community safety forum.
“But we are confident that our work with organisations such as the police, community groups and the racial harassment forum will reduce risk, protect victims and witnesses and raise awareness to reduce hate incidents in schools and in the community.”
West Sussex County Council said 121 pupils had been subjected to referrals because of hate crime incidents.
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